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Everything posted by davet

  1. From Wikpedia "Samuel Zygmuntowicz (born 1956) is a contemporary luthier. He began his instrument making training when he was thirteen years old and studied making and restoration under Peter Prier, Carl Becker and Rene Morel." Presumably could have made an instrument in 1969 as his first. Probably later. Seems to have finished his SLC and other training by 1985 as he opened his shop in that year. He finished SLC (Prier) training in or before 1980. So this 1983 instrument was probably not a graduation instrument for the SLC school. This assumes the bio in Wikpedia is correct.
  2. It's certainly a finish that pops right out at you. (I just couldn't resist, sorry)
  3. I think it's a great idea. Fine Woodworking articles are really timeless with only a few equipment evaluation articles becoming dated. So having an archive on DVD is great - would take up far less space than the 2 or 3 feet of bookshelf space that the old issues are taking now. Some articles in The Strad would get dated - performers, etc. The historical music and instrument making and evaluation articles would not become dated and would be great to have. I don't know what the down side is for the magazine as I don't think selling old issues is a big cash flow source for them. Selling a DVD archive would probably be very worthwhile in terms of advertising and cash flow. Maybe even the posters could be on DVD to at least look at and enjoy. Having the real copy of the posters would be necessary for use in making an instrument I would think.
  4. What's the asphaltum in there for? Just curious.
  5. From 1897 Sears Catalog. I scanned this but the print is so blurry it may be of little value (kinda like some ebay photos of violins!)
  6. Henry Eichheimer also offered an "Artist" violin through Sears and Wards. The Lowendall "Artist" was also offered. No pictures or descriptions of the flat backed, engraved scroll though. From another forum "Sears and many other catalog dealers sold factory instruments made for the most part in that part of central Europe that became Germany in 1871. By "factory" I mean typically a small shop employing one or two dozen people (sometimes less) who split up the work. One would do the scrolls, another the back, another the sides, another the purfling, and so on through final finishing. These instruments were available in several price grades and in several styles, e.g. copies of different famous makers such as Stainer, or Strad. Very similar to the way Chinese violins are being sold nowadays. Some had names branded on the back near the heel, and others had some sort of name or brand ( Soloist, Conservatory, Symphony, etc.) on a carved plate at the back of the peghead. I have seen some dark finished instruments that were very good with these sorts of identifications, but by 1900, the typical reddish-orange varnish with blonde corners was pretty much everywhere. These fiddles still turn up often on eBay, and possibly here on the FHO as well, usually in the $200-400 price range depending on condition. Tens of thousands of these were sold in the USA before WW1, which put a stop to German imports for awhile."
  7. I'm confused (which easily happens). If it softens the varnish then why would it be a good cleaner? I would think softening the varnish would be a bad thing. Leaving no residue would be good. Can you expand please. Thanks!
  8. One of my shoulder rests uses just leather as the padding. Not polished or smooth leather but the rough side out. Provides some friction to hold the rest in place but no cushioning. Trying to neatly cut the foam down on your current rest would be very difficult. Possibly a belt sander might work but that seems like overkill for what you want.
  9. Never use screws! Hide glue only!
  10. The ebay store selling the Chinese violin has the same photo for a number of their auctions. I think I would stay away from such an auction. The fact that the seller is supposedly closing business should not make you jump for an instrument. There are a number of instruments on ebay and elsewhere that are in this price range and this is probably not really a bargain. The free shipping is attractive but the case and bow are only worth about $20-30 each at best. And a number of reputable sellers throw these items in anyway. Some alternatives Online (not ebay) there are some shops selling Scott Cao 017 outfits for about $399 plus shipping. These are music stores that might have some sort of return policy. The Cao 017 are student instruments and the Cao line seems to have a good reputation and is well known. They are also Chinese. The lower end Gliga (Violinlovers) instruments - Genial, Gems 1 and 2 fall into or near this price range. The instruments are well made, somewhat heavy and dark but have a well known name. Outfit deals are available. Again, a return policy is probably available. These instruments are made in Romania but sold out of California. Shipping is minimal ($17-20). Yitamusic has been discussed here on the forum. The quality and tone seems to vary but I would bet that the worst tone instrument from a Yitamusic instrument would still be better than Chinese ebay auction violin mentioned by the original poster. A Yitamusic instrument with good tone would be an instrument that would last through several years of your violin career. The Yitamusic instruments are made in China and the shipping both ways is very expensive and makes return prohibitive. I am sure there are some other lines that are equally good. One of the posters above mentioned set up. Any of the instruments mentioned originally, by me, or a used instrument will probably require a set up. In addition, most of the new instruments are shipped with low quality strings that should also be replaced ($25-50). A set up would adjust and/or replace the sound post, adjust and/or replace the bridge and thoroughly check the rest of the violin and action. Depending on your location this will probably cost $50 or more to be done right and by someone who is experienced. This is not something a beginner can do and expect the results to be worthwhile. This set up will help the violin sound as good as possible and play as easily as possible thus making your playing experience enjoyable. Good luck!
  11. This 3/4 violin has a label (presumably newer) of something like J. A. Baader, est. 1873. Any comments? I apologize for the poor quality of the photos - they were off a cell phone.
  12. A friend was finishing up a viola and was doing the last touches on it. He was using a colored varnish for the edge. I have seen some violins/violas with varnish type finishing of the edge and others with what looks to be black paint. So I asked my friend what the tradition of Strad and del Gesu was. He didn't have a concrete answer. So what did Strad and del Gesu use as the finishing of the f hole edges? Thanks!
  13. I seem to recall someone recently trying to use bone for saddles and nuts and wasn't thrilled with the resulting tone. So you might search the archives. Cutting and shaping bone, except for the smell and dust, is just as easy or easier than ebony. I've done it for guiter nuts and bridge saddles. I personally think it looks great.
  14. Looks great. How about posting some before photos? Thanks.
  15. davet

    Sacconi's book

    Thanks David. I'm interested and have PM'd you. At least I think I did as I don't use that system much.
  16. I'm interested in purchasing Sacconi's book as it seems to have a considerable amount of historical and useful information. People on the forum are continually referencing it and I would like to read the details first hand. I found it listed on Strad magazine site - the Orpheus store for 85 pounds (about $120 US). It seems to go in and out of stock on a monthly basis but the store is good about emailing you when it is in stock. My problem is the shipping. Initially the shipping (I'm located in the US) was going to be about 17 pounds (about $25) but they emailed me and said they only use a courier service for international shipments. This increased the shipping rate to 35 pounds (about $50-60) but I would have the book in 3 - 5 days. Of course I've waited about 3 years to get the book so fast shipping is not a real priority. But having the shipping rate equal about 50% of the book cost just seemed out of whack to me but I don't ship many things internationally either. Anyway, my question is whether anyone has found a better site to purchase this book and/or a cheaper method of getting the book from the UK to US? Thanks
  17. Density. This is why I tried to emphasize the conception of "light" water molecules floating around is too simplistic. While lighter gases or vapors do rise, the reality is that air has a mixture of water vapor, oxygen, and mostly nitrogen. Using the light density theory, all of the oxygen (molecular weight = 32) in air would be near the surface of the earth, next a layer of nitrogen (molecular weight = 28), and on top would be the water vapor (molecular weight = 18) - thus the clouds in the sky. Fortunately for us this is not the case. It is a mixture. The water in your violin does not float out of your violin because it is "light" from having two little hydrogen balloons attached to the oxygen. The water in violin is in equilibrium with the water vapor in the air - thus the partial pressure/vapor pressure discussion above. To carry this further, if density was the ONLY controlling factor, how would varnish dry? The solvent molecules in varnish are heavier than air so using the density theory, varnish would never dry as they would never "float" away.
  18. First of all, Outside, I apologize for my reply. It was rude and uncalled for. The purpose of the forum is the free exchange of information that is hopefully useful or helpful. My reply was neither. I apologize. Looking at the drying process as 2 hydrogen attaching to an oxygen and the combination floating out of the violin is far too simplistic. It might help you to conceptualize the process but what are you going to do with the conception? Where does it help you in caring for, making or understanding your violin? It's just not a technical description of drying. It's on the extremely elementary end of defining drying. On the other end of the definition spectrum is a highly complex evaluation of the drying process. It involves the above mentioned partial pressure, vapor pressure, temperature of the air, tortuous path for the water molecules to get to the violin surface, surface area of the violin, surface coating of violin preventing water release, diffusion of the molecule, and on and on. This evaluation would be boring to the extreme for this forum and not particularly useful to the members. What are you going to use it for? Basically, most of us here on the forum need to realize that the amount of water in the air (relative humidity) and the temperature of the area where the violin is kept are important in how much and whether a violin will dry out. The drying out or pick of moisture (in very humid and hot situations) can impact the tuning and more importantly the physical integrity of the instrument. Cracks in the wood and glue separations are possible problems with large variations in the relative humidity and temperature where a violin is kept or used.
  19. According Cozio the King Joseph has a one piece slab back.
  20. From a vendors webpage * The 192 gram strength is a good general purpose glue, and it's the least expensive hide glue around. That's why it's the most common. Its real application is veneering, although you can use it for regular gluing in a pinch. A lot of people consider it the best all-around glue for general woodworking (including veneering), because it also has the longest open time. If you are new to hide glue, this is the grade you should get. * The 251 gram strength glue is traditionally the most appropriate for regular cabinetwork. Its higher strength means that you can do rub joints more easily, and clamped joints will have less time to creep. But it's not optimal for veneering, when you'd want the maximal amount of time for squeezing out the excess glue. * The 315 gram strength is a special purpose glue for very high stress applications. It is favored primarily by instrument makers for situations where a joint will be under constant force. Of the glues the 315 has the shortest open time. I would presume the 400 glue that you mentioned would even have a shorter open/working time. The instrument makers mentioned above include player piano repair which would have different priorities than violin making.
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